Training system considerations

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1 Comparative results of three training systems in Winchester VVA Meeting: Feb 2003 Tony K. Wolf Professor of Viticulture Training system considerations Why research training systems in Virginia? increase production efficiency under our growing conditions evaluate yield and quality relationships Why are there so many training options.? Varietal/species growth habit, vigor differences, personal bias/convictions, etc.

2 DETAILS OF TRAINING COMPARISON Vines established in 1998 at Winchester Three varieties: Viognier (la Jota clone) Cabernet franc (clone #1) Traminette (own-rooted or grafted) Three training systems: Vertical shoot-positioned Smart-Dyson Geneva Double Curtain Bi-lateral cordon, vertical shoot-positioned A standard system in Virginia and East Cordons at 36 to 44 inches above the ground) Simple concept, relatively cheap installation Can be modified into vertically divided canopy training if vigor warrants

3 Geneva Double Curtain Cordons at top of trellis, separated by 4 Cordons spur-pruned to lower 180 ; alternating spur length Use only in high vigor situations (I.e., > 0.3 pounds of cane prunings/foot of canopy realized or expected Shoot positioning required, typically 2X/year; first shortly after flowering, second w/in 4 weeks high yields; high phenols also possible - avoid over-exposure Suitable for American, hybrids, and some vinifera cvs. Smart Dyson Opposing canopies originate from a common, mid-trellis cordon Downward positioning of lower canopy requires a two-step process to avoid shoot breakage. Yield increases of about 70% over non-divided VSP Suitable to most high-vigor situations Timing weed control

4 DETAILS OF TRAINING COMPARISON Row spacing = 10 and vine spacing = 8 Why this row spacing? Three sponsors - VA Winegrowers Advisory Board - NC Grape Council - Viticulture Consortium: East DETAILS OF TRAINING COMPARISON Data collection components of crop yield fruit chemistry and color canopy light environment wine chemistry and sensory analysis bud and cane cold hardiness cane pruning weights This is a preliminary report

5 Systems evaluated at Winchester Vertically shoot-positioned (VSP) Smart-Dyson (SD) Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) Pounds of crop per vine GDC S-D VSP Viognier GDC SD VSP Tons of fruit per acre (equivalent)

6 Pounds of crop per vine Cabernet franc GDC S-D VSP GDC SD VSP Tons of fruit per acre (equivalent) Yields are increased by canopy division (GDC or Smart-Dyson). No surprises there.. What components of yield are increased? Clusters/vine Yes, because the number of shoots per vine is increased Cluster weight? Not really Berry weight? Not really Clusters/shoot? Yes, increased with GDC and SD

7 Flower clusters/shoot before thinning 2002 season Traminette/ Cab franc Viognier C3309 GDC SD VSP Training system and variety main effects were significant Canopy sunlight measures: 8/2001 Percent of available sunlight in fruitzone GDC SD-Up SDdown VSP Cab franc Tram/ Tram/own Viognier

8 Primary fruit composition: Viognier Brix ph Brix ph GDC SD-Down SD-Up VSP Fruit was picked at comparable Brix for all training systems. In 2002 all systems harvested on 12 September. Primary fruit composition: Cabernet franc Brix ph Brix ph GDC SD-Down SD-Up VSP Fruit was picked at comparable Brix for all training systems.

9 Primary fruit chemistry appears not to be adversely affected by the 50 to 70% greater yields achieved by Smart-Dyson and Geneva Double Curtain training. But what about wine quality? Secondary fruit composition: Cabernet franc 2001 Total Antho Polymeric pigments Total phenols GDC SD VSP Signif. ns *** ns

10 Secondary fruit composition: Cabernet franc 2002 Total Antho Poly. pigments Total phenols Wine PFGG GDC SD-Dn SD-Up VSP Signif. ** *** ** ** Wine sensory analysis Cabernet franc, 2001 Evaluated November 2002 No differences were detected in triangle sensory tests of aroma or flavor between any of the training systems.

11 Wine sensory analysis Viognier, 2001 March - April 2002 No consistent differences were detected in triangle sensory tests of aroma or flavor between GDC and VSP. Significant differences in both aroma and flavor detected between SD and GDC. - GDC had > varietal aroma intensity (related to higher fruit PFGG??) and > palate weight than did the SD I m concerned that fruit won t mature uniformly between the upper and lower canopies of the vertically-divided Smart-Dyson training system

12 Comparison of fruit ripening ( Brix) of Scott Henry upper and lower canopies, and low single wire. Shiraz, Barossa SA, /12/02 2/19/02 2/26/02 3/5/02 3/12/02 SH-Up SH-Down LSW SH-up = 2.23 kg crop/m canopy SH-down = 1.03 kg crop/m canopy LSW = 1.43 kg crop/m canopy Relative performance of Smart-Dyson upper and lower canopies during the 2002 season. Clusters /vine Crop/ Vine Cabernet franc Cluster wt (g) Brix ph TA (g/l) Upper canopy Lower canopy Significance *** *** ns ns ns ns Viognier Upper canopy Lower canopy Significance ns ** * ns ns ns

13 Relative labor demands Practices are depicted as a percentage of VSP time Fruit harvest Leaf pulling Cluster thinning Shoot hedging Shoot tucking and tying SD GDC VSP Shoot thinning Time to complete selected tasks Time/vine (minutes) VSP GDC SD Shoot thinning Shoot tucking... Shoot hedging Cluster thinning Leaf pulling Fruit harvest This is an aggregate across all varieties in the training comparison

14 Conclusions Yields vertically-divided systems increased yields by 50 to 70% without compromising primary fruit chemistry and with no measurable, negative effect on wine quality Fruit thinning was necessary with all systems in 2002, particularly with the GDC -- still ended up with somewhat higher crops than we had anticipated Conclusions Smart-Dyson No asynchrony in fruit maturation between upper and lower canopies with the differential in cropping that we ve provided between the two canopies System is particularly appealing as an efficient use of vineyard space. System is flexible to accommodate changes in vine vigor over time. Cordon established at about 42 above ground to allow enough space for lower canopy. Weed management has not been an issue.

15 Conclusions Geneva Double Curtain Highest yields and greatest fruitfulness Cabernet somewhat difficult to train to downward canopy Devigorates shoots and vines Fruit subject to slightly more rot (1% vs. 0.4%) sunburn, birds and insects, dew formation?? Greater color and phenols in must and wine Provide some sun protection with laterals Weed management has not been an issue Inexpensive management

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